The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on sports is enermous, but while we are being constantly reminded of the difficulties faced by the cricketers and the footballers, the postponement of the Olympics has given both despair and hope to hundreds of Olympic hopefuls all across India. One of them is swimmer SP Likith.
The 21 year old swimmer is training with his coach Partha Varanashi, and they are one with nature, at the later’s farm. “My coach who is a poly-athlete and an organic farmer has a huge farm spread over 100 acres near Puttur, which falls on the border of Karnataka and Kerala. The area where we are staying is surrounded by thick forests, and you can say I am stuck in a jungle,” Likith discussed to Times Of India.
The swimmer was among many who came to the farm for a two day workshop, but they have been stuck there ever since. “I arrived at my coach’s farm in the last week of February for a two-day workshop and have been here since then. We are about 25 of us, including 15 swimmers in various age-groups – who have made this farm our home,” the Olympic hopeful said.
The ‘A’ qualification mark for his preferred 100M breaststroke category is 59.93 seconds. Likith’s personal best is 62.02 seconds, which he achieved at Malaysia Open.
They are leading a combined life of unconventional training and natural lifestyle:
“We train inside a water tank measuring 24 by 20 metres, which is primarily kept for irrigation purposes. I swim four times a week,” Likith said. “There are over 120 species of birds here. Spotting wild boars, snakes and scorpions is common here,” he added.
The food supplies will be enough for a few months, but if the situation fails to stabilize, they will have to work at the farm. “So far we are good but the coach said if things get worse, we will have to work on the farm,” he said.